How to Open a US Business Bank Account as a Non-Resident: The Ultimate Guide

Open a US business bank account as a non-resident with this step-by-step guide! Learn how to open an account and access the best banking services available in the US.
Open a US Business Bank Account

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Let’s face it, if you want smooth business transactions online, having bank details in the US is a must. But cross-border financial complexities make it pretty hard to have your own business account there. The good news is that it is possible to get your very own business account in the US as a non-US citizen if you know how it’s done.

Choose a bank that has a non-residential banking facility and prepare documents like a passport, business documents, proof of address, and TIN. Submit everything and wait for your approval. You can also use a professional service like Business Globalizer to avoid mistakes.

Let’s go through the detailed process and the things you must know before you get started.

Can I Open a US Business Bank Account as a Non-Resident?

Yes, non-resident or resident, everyone can open a US business bank account. But will you have to struggle to find a bank that will proceed with you? Most US banks will need you to have a US address and a tax identification number. You’ll need an Employer Identification Number (EIN). It’s a nine-digit unique number. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses it as an official identifier for your LLC.

However, some banks allow opening an account with your passport and a business address from outside the US. Here, you must provide more documentation and complete the identity verification steps.

Can I Open a Business Bank Account in the USA Online?

You can open a US business bank account online. But the process can be more challenging than opening an account in person. You can apply for a business account or start the application online. But you must visit the bank at some point with your documentation. Some non-major banking institutions will allow you to complete the whole procedure online. But these banks won’t be able to offer a wide range of resources like the major ones.

How to Open a US Business Bank Account as a Non-Resident – Detailed Procedure

Depending on the bank, the opening process for a US business bank account may vary. Regardless of the bank, the average procedure involves the following steps:

Step 1: Choose a Bank: Research banks that offer business accounts for non-residents. Choose one that best fits your needs.

Step 2: Prepare Your Documentation: Gather the necessary documentation required by the bank. They are your passport, business documents, proof of address, and tax identification number.

Step 3: Submit Your Application: Fill out the details and submit it either online or in person.

Step 4: Wait for Approval: Wait for the bank to review your application and approve your account. Depending on the bank, the process may take several days to a few weeks.

Required Documents for Opening US Business Bank Account

The required documents of a non-resident are like the requirements of US residents. The documentation will vary based on several factors. They include business type, residentship, living state, bank type, etc.

Nonetheless, in general, you have to provide the following documents:

1. Articles of Incorporation

Articles of incorporation, also known as certificates of incorporation or the corporate charter. It is a set of formal documents filed with the government body to document the creation of the corporation legally.

A few significant points of the Article of Incorporation are:

❂ Articles of incorporation are the relevant filing with a government figure (usually the state) that signifies a corporation’s creation.

❂ In the U.S., articles of incorporation are filed with the Office of the Secretary of State where the business chooses to incorporate.

❂ Articles of incorporation should include the name of the company, the type of corporate structure, and the number and type of authorized shares.

❂ Bylaws work in agreement with the articles of incorporation to form the proper resolution of the business.

Requirements for Articles of Incorporation:

  • Corporation’s name
  • Name and address of the enlisted operator
  • Nature of the corporate structure, e.g., profit or non-profit corporation, non-stock organization, proficient company, and so forth.
  • The initial board of director’s names and addresses
  • Types and numbers of shares that are authorized
  • Duration of the enterprise, on the off chance that it didn’t exist for all time
  • Name, mark, and address of the incorporator, who is the individual responsible for setting up a partnership.

2. EIN (Employer Identification Number) and Confirmation Letter

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a classification number that is unique to every entity of the business. It is assigned to a company so that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can quickly identify it. The EIN is recognized as a Federal Tax Identification Number. Its purpose is to recognize a corporation for tax purposes, and it is commonly known as a tax identification number. After you have completed your EIN application, you will receive an EIN confirmation letter, declared by the Internal Revenue Service, which is essential for tax reporting.

Ways to Get an EIN

Getting an employer identification number is not very tough. Available application forms from the website of the Internal Revenue Service can be filled out and submitted online. However, the location of the business needs to be in the USA. Before it can be assigned an employer identification number, a company needs to have a legitimate taxpayer identification number.

A business must have an employer identification number. It is required to make payments to the employees and to make a list of business tax returns. Moreover, financial organizations such as banks, brokerage houses, and unions of credit cannot open a business bank account without an employer identification number.

Self-employed people like subcontractors must have an employer identification number, which is utilized by the prime contractor to inform the Internal Revenue Service about every business’s benefits returned to the subcontractor.

3. An Operation Agreement

An operating agreement is a crucial document used by limited liability companies (LLCs) to design financial and functional decisions, including laws, regulations, and terms of business. The objective of the document is to dictate the internal operations of the company in a way that satisfies the specific requirements of the business owners. These business owners are also known as members. Once the limited liability company members sign the document, it acts as an official contract, tying them to its terms.

How to Choose the Right Bank for My Business Account

Choosing the right bank for your business depends on your needs and preferences. Some factors to consider when choosing a bank include:

Costs: Look for a bank with reasonable fees for account maintenance, transactions, etc. Also, see the transaction fees, foreign currency fees, ATM fees, and if there’s any minimum balance required.

Services: Consider the services, such as online banking, mobile banking, and card processing. Also, if you have to connect the account to your current payment solutions, see if that’s prohibited.

Reputation: Research the bank’s reputation and customer reviews to ensure they have a good track record. You can reach out to fellow account holders from outside the US, possibly from your own country.

Considering these factors, four major banks in the USA that offer the facility for non-US citizens are:

BanksConditionsCost
Bank of AmericaOnly if you have an LLC in a state where BOA operates.$16 up to $29.95 monthly maintenance fee. But it can be zero if you have a $5,000 to $15,000 combined average monthly balance.
Wells FargoThey offer business account options in all US states.The monthly maintenance fee is $10 unless you have a $500 minimum daily balance and a $1,000 average ledger balance.
CitibankThey have a special “international personal banking division” to deal with it.The minimum initial deposit is $1 and the monthly fee of $15, which is waived with a monthly collected balance of $5,000.
JPMorgan ChaseBiggest banking option in the list and the best fit for bigger transactions.The minimum initial deposit is $25 to open a business checking account. It can be more, depending on the type of account.

Remember that most banks will ask you for a valid US address. Banks use this address to send documents and for other legal purposes. If you have an LLC in the US, that should solve the issue with a mailing address, especially if you’re doing it with a service like Business Globalizer.

How Long Does It Usually Take to Open an Account?

The time it takes to open a U.S. business bank account as a non-resident varies depending on the bank and the complexity of your application. Generally, the process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Some banks offer online account opening, which can expedite the process. On the other hand, several banks may require in-person visits or additional documentation, which can slow down the process.

Further, if the business has complex ownership or multiple signers on the account, it would take longer to activate the account. We recommend you check the specific bank for their estimated timeline for account activation.

Perks of Having a US Business Bank Account

Opening a US business bank account will be beneficial for several reasons. Some common benefits include:

  • Access to the US Market: Having a US business bank account can make it instantly better for you to do financial deals without worrying about back-and-forth currency conversions.
  • Faster Transactions: As you’re cutting all the unnecessary conversions and don’t have time zone delays, you’ll do business faster in the US market with a US business account.
  • Convenience in Payments: You can effortlessly receive payments, pay bills, and manage your business finances if dealing with US local businesses of any sort.
  • Business Credibility: Having a U.S. bank account lends credibility to your business and makes financing or partnerships in the US much easier as you’re dealing with account details under your name.
  • Better Compliance with Regulations: Most businesses require compliance with US regulations like the Patriot Act and AML laws. When you have your own business account in the US, you’re reducing the risk of legal issues down the line.
  • Competitive Advantage: With your own business bank account in the US, you’re getting a financial advantage over other businesses in your local market. While others struggle with conversions, you’re closing deals with US local businesses with smoother transactions.

How Does Business Globalizer Help You Open a Business Bank Account in the USA?

Business Globalizer is a company formation agency specializing in helping non-residents open business bank accounts in the United States.

At Business Globalizer, we

  • Provide personalized assistance throughout the entire process.
  • Ensure necessary support for choosing the right bank.
  • We will assist you in preparing your documentation and submitting your application.
  • Offer additional services such as tax consulting, bookkeeping, and virtual office assistance.

FAQs

Q1: Do I need to be physically present in the US to open a US business bank account?

Answer: Not necessarily. You can open a business account in the US without being present in person. You can just open an account by applying online.

Q2: Will my US business bank account be subject to US taxes?

Answer: US business bank accounts are subject to US tax laws. But as a non-US resident, you will be eligible for certain tax exemptions or credits, depending on your home country’s tax treaties with the US.

Q3: Do I need a US-based business entity to open an account?

Answer: Non-US residents can open a US business bank account for their foreign business entity. But you may need to provide additional documentation. Some banks even want a local address, which you can get if you get an LLC for your business.

Q4: What fees can I expect when opening a US business bank account?

Answer: Fees for opening and maintaining a US business bank account can vary depending on the bank and type of account. However, standard charges include monthly maintenance fees, transaction fees, and wire transfer fees.

Q5: Will I get reduced costs if I have a business account at a local US bank?

Answer: Most US banks offer lower wire transfer fees or free ACH transfers with other US bank accounts. This will give you peace of mind while sending or receiving payments from US local businesses.

Conclusion

Getting your US business account without US citizenship should now be easier for you. Prepare all the necessary documents after choosing the bank you’re going with. The best option is to get an LLC set up with a physical address in the US that gives you an EIN to use in the account opening process. And if you need assistance along the way, Business Globalizer is here to help. We will guide you through the process and ensure your application is complete and accurate.

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